Good Energy Massage

Integrative therapy for the Body, Mind and Spirit.

Massage and Emotions

I was working with a client today and afterwards we were talking about his experience on my table. He said that at one point he almost felt like crying. I replied that it is not an uncommon thing for emotions to come up during a massage/bodywork session, and all emotions are welcome here. When we deny or stuff emotions, we inhibit our capacity for healing and growth and truly be in the now and live and authentic life.  When we look at ourselves, our body, mind and spirit and how they all play together it is no surprise that emotions can surface in a session. The challenge for most men and women is allowing themselves to be present for whatever comes up. I will certainly not judge them and invite them not to judge themselves.

Our life story starts at the moment we are conceived. Everything that happens to us is stored in our bodies or should I say our cells. Some memories are good and invoke feeling of warmth and security, some are bad memories that make us contract and clench our bodies. As a trained somatic therapist it is part of my training to deal with emotions. Emotions can be anything from anger, sadness, grief, panic, anxiety, frustration and even laughter and joy.  It can be a simple sigh of relief or a deep breath. It can a few tears. Some emotions may just be a sense of heat or cold in an area of the body.   “When the massage therapy begins to disrupt the underlying physical patterns behind the pain, then emotional patterns related to the chronic physical pattern may surface.” Psychology of the Body-Elliot Green

Sexual, physical and emotional trauma at any age can leave it’s imprint on bodies and emotions and leave our nervous systems overwhelmed and stuck in a fight, flight or freeze. Even the lack of touch and not taking time for our own needs can create a great deal of tension in the body. Overtime when we ignore our needs and emotions and do not allow them to discharge or be met in some way we can develop body armor.  Armoring (self protecting) in the body is a natural result of trauma that has not been dealt with or allowed to be discharged in a safe environment.  The effects of Trauma can be summarized as: chronic patterns of involuntary tension in the body that dampen or block emotional expression, alter perception of both the outer and inner psychological world, diminish or eliminate body felt sense awareness and even inhibit our range of motion. The war vet will think that a loud noise is a gunshot and duck and cover for protection. The man that was abused sexually/physically may think a touch with good intention is meant to do harm.  People in car accidents that experience impact /whiplash may experience a stiff neck and chronic upper body tension, migraines and even tense up when driving a car.  All these effects when ignored in the long run diminish our well being and quality of life.

As a trained Somatic therapist it is essential to offer a safe, nurturing environment.  In a world with so much chaos and demands more and more people are living with overwhelmed nervous systems and trauma. The skill of being present with the client is essential. Being present is: holding space with open heart, free of judgment and hidden agendas of any kind. When this space is created it can open the door where you can totally allow the experience and be present for whatever shows up. To do this requires  not only skill but  that you have done and are doing  do your own personal emotional work as well. With all my training and life experience I have had shed my won tears, faced my demons and have learned to set boundaries.

An emotional release is never expected. The point is to educate clients that if emotions do come up it is perfectly natural and part of growth and healing. And at some point if the client is truly showing up, surrendering to the experience and being present with themselves some form of emotional release is inevitable.

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Healing, Massage and Body Work, Sacred Intimacy, Somatic Experiencing | , , | Leave a comment